LE MOYNE DE LONGUEUIL, JOSEPH-DOMINIQUE-EMMANUEL, army and militia officer, seigneur, and politician; b. 2 April 1738 in the seigneury of Soulanges (Que.), son of Paul-Joseph Le Moyne* de Longueuil, known as the Chevalier de Longueuil, and Marie-Geneviève Joybert de Soulanges; d. 19 Jan. 1807 in Montreal, Lower Canada.
Joseph-Dominique-Emmanuel Le Moyne de Longueuil’s noble descent and his membership in one of the most prestigious families in the military history of New France quite naturally marked him out for a military career. He soon passed through the lower ranks; he entered the colonial regular troops at the age of 12, and after a mere 6 months, on 1 April 1751, he was promoted second ensign. In this capacity he led a group of Hurons from Notre-Dame-de-Lorette (Loretteville, Que.) to Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh, Pa) in 1754 as part of an expedition sent under Louis Coulon* de Villiers to consolidate the French position in the Ohio country. The long-standing links between the Le Moyne de Longueuil family and the Indian nations explain in large part the role that Longueuil played with the Hurons throughout his military career under the French régime. On 3 July 1754 he led them at the capture of Fort Necessity (near Farmington, Pa), an operation directed by Villiers to avenge the death of his brother Joseph Coulon* de Villiers de Jumonville. Longueuil took command of a detachment of Hurons from Notre-Dame-de-Lorette on 27 April 1755 and led it from Quebec to the Ohio River. He was promoted ensign in May, and on 9 July took part with his detachment in the battle of the Monongahela near Fort Duquesne. In 1757 he participated in both phases of the campaign that ended with the surrender of Fort George (also called Fort William Henry; now Lake George, N.Y.): he was detailed to second his father in commanding France’s Indian allies during the raid by François-Pierre de Rigaud* de Vaudreuil in March, and was given the same responsibility during the August offensive of Louis-Joseph de Montcalm*. As a result of having scoured the region between Fort Carillon (near Ticonderoga, N.Y.) and Fort Orange (Albany, N.Y.) during the summer of 1756 – a type of military action in which he seems to have excelled – Longueuil was well acquainted with the territory south of Lake Champlain and all its forts. After apparently having taken part in the defence of Carillon in 1758 [see Montcalm], he spent the rest of that summer in reconnaissance or skirmishing operations; then in the autumn Montcalm gave him command of a company of volunteers ordered “to keep a daily watch on the shores of Lac Saint-Sacrement,” as Lake George was then called by the French.
On 1 Jan. 1759 Longueuil was appointed adjutant to the troops at Trois-Rivières and also promoted to the rank of infantry lieutenant. He participated in the Beauport campaign, experienced the bitter defeat on the Plains of Abraham on 13 September, and then withdrew to the vicinity of the Rivière Jacques-Cartier to spend the winter under the orders of Jean-Daniel Dumas*. During the battle of Sainte-Foy, on 28 April 1760, he was wounded in the thigh. He left the colony, probably in the six months following the capitulation, and went to Paris, France, where he stayed at the home of his great-uncle, the aged Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne* de Bienville. After repeated requests, both from himself and from influential persons, he was granted a captain’s commission on 1 July 1766 and accorded a pension of 400 livres from 25 July, an unusual award in view of his youth.
Longueuil’s decision to come back to Canada was probably influenced by two factors: his unfitness for service and the death on 7 March 1767 of Bienville, whose will named him heir to a quarter of his estate. He returned home, and on 10 March 1770 in Montreal he married Louise Prud’homme, the widow of Louis de Bonne* de Missègle and mother of Pierre-Amable De Bonne. Although he continued to pay attention to the great questions of the day, Longueuil led a rather secluded life until the American invasion [see Benedict Arnold; Richard Montgomery*] gave him the opportunity to put his military experience at the service of the crown. On 7 Sept. 1775 he took command of about a hundred Canadian volunteers and led them from Montreal to Fort St Johns (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu). Under the orders of François-Marie Picoté* de Belestre his detachment put up a steady resistance for 45 days against the invader’s assaults. Following the surrender of the fort early in November 1775, Longueuil was sent to Albany and New Jersey, and by all indications was kept prisoner until May 1777.
On 25 Nov. 1777 Governor Sir Guy Carleton appointed Longueuil inspector of militia, an office with which he was already familiar since he had carried out its duties on various occasions during the summer of 1775 and particularly since his return from captivity. This responsibility was not the only reward for his loyalty. On 20 Aug. 1777 the king assented to Longueuil’s appointment as a legislative councillor. His swearing-in on 7 July 1778 marked the beginning of nearly 30 years of political life. The direction taken by his career demonstrates the concerns of this nobleman who, reassured by the Quebec Act of 1774 and well served by the turn of military events, from then on endeavoured to preserve his gains by taking refuge in a deeply conservative political attitude. His open hostility to the establishment of parliamentary institutions did not, however, prevent him from pursuing his career under the new régime created by the constitution of 1791, when he found himself called to the executive and legislative councils of Lower Canada.
Longueuil’s political activity reflects quite faithfully the assumptions and values of the seigneurial nobility of the period. For Longueuil was also a landowner. The seigneuries of Soulanges, Nouvelle-Longueuil, and Pointe-à-l’Orignal, which his father had left him, brought him an annual income of £300 during the ten-year period from 1780 to 1790. Longueuil managed his properties from Montreal, where he lived, and concentrated his efforts particularly on Soulanges, which provided him with almost all his income from landed property. Pointe-à-l’Orignal was, on the other hand, put up for sale in 1784.
Although the name of Longueuil is deeply engraved in the political annals of the period, various factors often forced him to remain somewhat removed from the political foreground. His place of residence and his participation in Montreal affairs often kept him from council meetings, for example. But there was more to it than that: the politician had never really shed his military uniform. Having performed his duties as inspector of militia until 24 Dec. 1783, Longueuil was promoted to the rank of major on 12 July 1790 in recognition of his services during the American invasion. On 10 May 1794 he became colonel of the Vaudreuil militia. Finally, his appointment on 22 Jan. 1796 as lieutenant-colonel in the Royal Canadian Volunteer Regiment came as a consummation of his military career. The raising of this colonial regiment, which was required by the military situation in Europe and Great Britain’s need of all her forces, made it possible to replace the troops recalled by incorporating English – and French-speaking recruits from the Canadas into the regular army. On 25 June 1796 Longueuil was put in command of the first of the regiment’s two battalions – the one that was formed for recruits speaking French and was permanently stationed in Lower Canada; he continued to demonstrate his loyalty and retained his post until the regiment was disbanded in September 1802.
Longueuil died on 19 Jan. 1807 at his home in the faubourg Saint-Antoine in Montreal. Having no immediate heirs, since his only son had died in infancy, he had on 21 Nov. 1806 bequeathed his seigneuries of Soulanges and Nouvelle-Longueuil to his nephew, Jacques-Philippe Saveuse* de Beaujeu.
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Cite This Article
Gérald Pelletier, “LE MOYNE DE LONGUEUIL, JOSEPH-DOMINIQUE-EMMANUEL,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 5, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed March 29, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/le_moyne_de_longueuil_joseph_dominique_emmanuel_5E.html.
The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:
|Author of Article:||Gérald Pelletier|
|Title of Article:||LE MOYNE DE LONGUEUIL, JOSEPH-DOMINIQUE-EMMANUEL|
|Publication Name:||Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 5|
|Publisher:||University of Toronto/Université Laval|
|Year of publication:||1983|
|Year of revision:||1983|
|Access Date:||March 29, 2023|